Avalanche safety equipment needed in near-country too

December 28, 2015Avalanche, Backcountry

Stroke of luck Last week snowboarder Colin D. Watt shared his survival story of being swept down L’Avanger, the line of cleared trees under the Peak 2 Peak Gondola on Whistler Mountain. There’s been seldom opportunities to ski L’Avanger the last couple seasons, so with bumper December for snow like we’ve had, one can understand … Read More

Review: BCA Float 42 Avalanche Airbag

April 2, 2015Avalanche, Backcountry, Review, Ski Touring, Winter

I’ve remained largely indifferent to avalanche airbags since they started gaining popularity a few years ago. I thought them to be expensive, excessively heavy pieces of equipment suitable for snowmobilers or guests and guides at mechanized operations. I never really took them seriously for self-propelled ski touring. Earlier this season I began working with the Backcountry Access’ #Direct2Dirtbag influencer program and … Read More

Debunking the human factor – Avalanche safety tools have advanced, human nature remains the same

January 16, 2014Avalanche, Backcountry, Skiing, Winter

“Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.” — Barry LePatner It was in the winter of 1973 on Vancouver’s North Shore when Mitchell Sulkers and four friends decided to venture past the resort boundary of Seymour Mountain. A storm had rolled through the region dropping almost 50 centimetres of snow that … Read More

The Outsider: Beyond the Backcountry Code

December 10, 2013Avalanche, Backcountry, Ski Touring

Last week about 40 people – including some backcountry industry heavyweights – discussed the topics and wording of a new backcountry responsibility code at the Whistler Museum. The 10 point code revolves around issues of safety and responsibility of backcountry users for themselves, their party and other parties encountered beyond the boundaries. The wording of … Read More